Tribune To Shut Down The Game 87.7 FM/Chicago, Jonathon Brandmeier And Garry Meier Out
November 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM (PT)
ROBERTFEDER.COM is reporting that TRIBUNE Sports WGWG-LP (THE GAME 87.7 FM)/CHICAGO will be shut down at the end of the year and that JONATHON BRANDMEIER, heard on THE GAME as well as the online-only WGN.FM, and GARRY MEIER, whose show was airing only on WGN.FM, have both exited the stations, effective immediately.
FEDER reports that the station has fallen short of earning enough revenue to cover programming and talent costs. THE GAME was launched in FEBRUARY using the audio carrier of VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES analog low power TV channel 6, WGWG-LP, which can be received at 87.7 FM on most FM receivers. WGN.FM was established in the FALL of 2013 as a younger-skewing online offshoot of WGN, with BRANDMEIER moved from News-Talk WGN-A from the outset and MEIER moving from the AM in MAY 2014.
And in a memo to staff obtained by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, WGN management said, "We will discontinue programming of THE GAME and sports radio on 87.7 on DECEMBER 31, 2014. WGN RADIO is working to continue to produce the KAP & HAUGH SHOW for CSN CHICAGO. We're looking to expand our sports footprint on WGN RADIO as well as online and via social media. Our Free Form media initiative, WGN.FM, will take a different form to be an incubator for new talent, alternative conversation, and classic CHICAGO audio called WGN PLUS in 2015. That content will all be distributed on demand at wgnradio.com. The final GARRY MEIER SHOW streamed live on wgn.fm yesterday."
Hosts Found Out From Reporter, Not Management
The news got to the hosts while they were on the air, and from FEDER's report, not from management. The CHICAGO SUN-TIMES transcribed "QUIGS AND FINFER" co-host BEN FINFER's on-air reaction: "We’re doing a live show here. And to be told this way, it’s really a letdown. We’re getting screwed on this one.… We just found out on Twitter a half hour ago that the station is being taken off the air. We were not told about this ahead of time.
“We didn’t know anything about it. We were coming back from a break and saw on Twitter from ROBERT FEDER that the station is being taken off the air. Can you believe that? A lot of really talented people were hired to work at this station and found out through Twitter that they were fired. Nothing from the bosses.
“I don’t really know what to do for the last hour of this show. I guess take calls.”
FINFER added, "You would assume you tell the employees before the media. You assume they have the common courtesy to let some hosts on the air know that something might be coming so you don’t find out when you’re coming back from a commercial break. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I’ve heard of some pretty crappy things in this business. You talk to radio people you’ll hear awful stories about the way they’ve been treated. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything like this."
And social media manager/commentator JULIE DICARO sarcastically tweeted at FEDER, "Huge thanks to @RobertFeder for breaking that news while we're on the air. Rather be first than worry about people's feelings."